Abass El-Hage is involved in creating spaces and institutions for art and music in the Middle East and its diaspora. To this end, El-Hage has co-founded HIZZ, based in both Detroit and Cairo, which includes a record label, record store and two artist residency programmes. He organises events in unusual and innovative venues, manages the record label and mentors music start-ups in the HIZZ incubator. He spoke about his approach to building an independent and self-sustaining music platform as part of the panel Digital Grassroots Movements and the Young Generation at the Gather Festival, Stockholm (2018).

In addition to his work in music, he is also the owner and CEO of Upstream REI, Detroit (2012–present) and has been employed as a Cost Specialist - Electric Vehicles, Ford Motor Company, Detroit (2012–2017); Product Engineer, ZF Friedrichshafen, Livonia, US (2007–2010) and Hybrid Development Engineer, Continental Automotive Systems, Dearborn, US (2005–2007).

El-Hage received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s in engineering (thermodynamics) from Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, US (2005 and 2006, respectively). He also holds an MBA from the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (2011).

Born in 1982 in Berrien Springs, US, he currently lives and works between Cairo and Detroit.

SAF participation:
Ma3azef Symposium on Arabic Music (2019)

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Ma3azef Symposium on Arabic Music

Ma3azef and Sharjah Art Foundation have invited leading writers, musicians and critics to consider a number of pressing questions pertaining to Arabic music today.